During the time when Jesus was conducting his ministry, at one time he was seated in the Temple teaching a crowd. The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law had grown afraid of him and had began plotting to catch him in a mistake. They did so by asking him questions and posing situations to him so that they could accuse him of blasphemy. It was in this spirit that they stormed in the Temple he was teaching at, parading a woman whom they accused of adultery.
They reminded him that by the Law of Moses, they were required to stone her to death. “Now what do you say?” they asked Jesus. He bent down on the ground and started writing with his finger, contemplating, but the Pharisees wouldn’t let it go. They announced to all the crowd that had been listening to Jesus of the woman’s sin, humiliating her and vilifying her. They bayed for her blood. It is to be remembered that according to the Law of Moses that they invoked, both the man and woman caught in adultery were to be stoned. It is not clear where the man was in this situation but the passage makes no mention of him. This is perhaps an indicator of a practice that is present even in today’s world, where men and women are held to different standards. Women are often much more vilified for misdeeds that are quite similar or even much less devious than men.
That aside, when Jesus stopped writing he said to these people, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he stooped down and returned to his writing. The condemners left one by one, led by the oldest, until no one was left but him and the woman. There, with just the two of them, he asked her,”Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
This was another expression of Jesus’s compassion and grace for one of the many apparently sinful or promiscuous women that he met. He did not condone their sin but rather commended their faith, forgave them and turned them on the path of righteousness, as was the purpose of his coming. Once again this woman, served to teach the Pharisees and all others who were listening, God’s true nature of love, and the kind of relationship that He really wanted with his people.
If you ever seem to be sliding back into the very thing you’ve already been set free of, don’t even waste time getting discouraged. Often what seems like the same old thing coming back again may be a new layer surfacing that needs to come off. You’re not going backwards—you are going deeper.